Thursday, November 30, 2006

Calvin on the Anti-Trinitarian Heresy

Moreover, Satan, in order to tear our faith from its very roots, has always been instigating great battles, partly concerning the divine essence of the Son and the Spirit, partly concerning the distinction of the persons. He has during nearly all ages stirred up ungodly spirits to harry orthodox teachers over this matter and today also is trying to kindle a new fire from the old embers. For these reasons, it is important here to resist the perverse ravings of certain persons.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving Turkey


This was the best turkey I've ever smoked. I've been smoking turkeys for about 7 or 8 years and with the modifications I made to my Brinkman smoker, this one turned out the best.

I used an apple brine to prepare the 20 pound plus bird, then used a device similar to a "beer can" turkey that was made of ceramic. The steam generated from the mixture of honey, apple, and olive oil kept the breast moist and cut a couple hours off cooking time. I also heated the meat with natural lump charcoal. It's a better burning fuel, made of wood, not scraps from the Kingsford factory. Added to that, I used a blend of pecan pellets and cherry chips for the smoke. This provided a good flavor that is not as boring as hickory or mesquite.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Deuteronomy 6 and Family Ministry: Part 2

Notice the importance God places on children in this passage:

2that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.

7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

20"When your son asks you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?' 21then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.

There are two things I see that standout concerning children. First, that God values them and takes the time to consider them . He values them so much that he commands parents to tell their children the story of Redemption and to own the Covenant promises that Yahweh made with his people.

Second, I see the parents and the community's role in children's upbringing. The parents are to live in light of God's promises. They are to love Yahweh. They are to live in light of His deliverance and because of their lives, it causes their children to take notice and ask them what it all means. Parents are to be active in telling their children the story of redemption - plain and simple. It is their responsibility. If the broader context of Deuteronomy 6 is understood (think: the audience is the community, not segregated individuals), there is the implication that the community is involved as well. I envision a scene where these statutes are played out where the Covenant community is living in light of Yahweh's promises and teaching them to their children. Families are so entranced by the sheer grace and holiness of God that their children cannot help but be captivated by it. The notion of loving the Lord, telling the story of redemption is not something that only belongs to individuals, but to God's people. The love the people of God have for him and each other (think: 10 commandments) is something that is to be recognized by the children.

Parents are to be diligent in training their children because God values them.
This training cannot come only by word, but also by deed.
This is all done with the understanding that God comes to us first. He takes the initiative.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Deuteronomy 6 and Family Ministry

The more I look at Deuteronomy 6, the more I wish that "youth programs" and "family programs" would heed these words more closely.

Deuteronomy 6

The Greatest Commandment
1"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

4"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10"And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you--with great and good cities that you did not build, 11and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant--and when you eat and are full, 12then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you, 15for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God, lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

16"You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers 19by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has promised.

20"When your son asks you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?' 21then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.'

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Monday, November 06, 2006

In 24 hours or so

No more pre-taped political phone calls.

I will be happy.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday: An Anti-Climactic Day

Fridays are strange for me. I remember when I used to work in cubicle land, before seminary, I would get off at 5 and enjoy a "normal" Friday; dinner, movie, hang out with Jen/friends, etc. Then, in April 2004, I accepted a management position at UPS. Don't get me wrong, it's been a great job, but the problem is that I work Friday nights. In the beginning, it was 10p.m.-3a.m., but now I basically work 5p.m.-9:30ish.
This has turned that time of euphoria people get on Friday afternoons into the "crap, I have to leave in an hour for work." On campus, the place clears out by Noon and you can feel the weekend energy. Occassionally, people say, "what do you have going on tonight" and I reply, "work, as always."
Fridays have just become a strange day that I don't look forward to as I once did.
At least I'll always have Sunday.

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